ATS Blog

Cracks in the Foundation?

Tim Kolb : January 17, 2013 10:30 am : Blog

Cracks in the foundation ImageMany people consider a home inspection after they have found what they thought was the perfect house. Only then do they learn that what they saw with their hearts is not so perfect. But, that’s OK – all homes are built by human beings and like humans they are full of imperfections. That doesn’t mean that the home you’ve found can’t become the dream home you first saw.

One of the biggest “gotchas” in the sale of real estate are slight cracks in the foundation that may or may not be visible to the naked eye that can if left untreated create true nightmares for the home owner. Many times these are caused by poorly compacted soil fills and through poor construction and if that is the case, it may never be the dream home you were looking for.

Often, homeowners will try quick fix solutions such as patching over drywall cracks that are visible in the living area of the home – this does nothing to fix the true problem. And, when you buy or sell a home, these issues must be disclosed to the buyer.

So when you, the seller, are ready to put your family home on the market, protect yourself and the buyer looking for that “perfect family home” by buying a home inspection first, with a professional that not only sees the potential issues but also has resources that can provide you with go-to people to help take care of this and other issues. A defective foundation must be dealt with, and fixing the problem properly will insure your sale goes through exactly the way it should.

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Revealing Home Inspection Defects in Arizona

Tim Kolb : January 3, 2013 3:28 am : Blog

Most Common Home Defects

You have been planning, saving, and looking forward to owning your own home and your quest is becoming reality. Now it time to learn about the home and any obvious defects your professional home inspector may have discovered. Below is a list of the most common defects found.

  •  Deteriorated or Damaged Roofs
One of the most overlooked areas of the home is the roof.
Why?  Because owners cannot physically climb the roofs due to the height and of course this could be a safety concern.
Notations may include: improper installed roof coverings, deteriorated covering, broken tiles and shingles, hail damage, clogged valleys, missing flashing and poor ventilation for attic’s to circulate air.
  •  Outdated Electrical Components:
Most of the issues seen were due to outdated electrical service panels that included under amperage to a home.
These are primarily homes from the 1960’s including Zinsco panels or no main breaker. Let’s not forget the two–prong outlets (ungrounded).Amateur wiring of outlets, lack of GFCI’s or none at all. Another deficiency is that there are no AFCI breakers dedicated for bedrooms. Lastly attics tend to hide of lot splices wires that should be contained in J-boxes. The lack of Carbon monoxide detectors or smoke alarms for bedrooms or living spaces which are quite in-expensive to install.
  •  Plumbing Concerns
On this area and most common of older homes (1960’s again) are cast iron drain lines. Keeping in mind these types of drains will normally last from 50-70 years. Although rust build-up can cause lower drainage flow, a wise decision is to have the drains scoped by a licensed plumber. Other issues found were water heaters and the lack of water heater pans and of course non-functioning TPR valves and supply valves. I also want to mention leaking drains and corroded shut valves.
  •  Is your HVAC older than you?
Here in Arizona we love our air conditioning and the heat build-up in a home during the summer months can take a toll on ones health and stress level.
Some items were hail damaged coils, leaking ductwork in attic. Generally speaking the lifespan of a HVAC system is 10-15 years depending on how well the unit was serviced.A new and more energy efficient unit can save money over a period of time.
  •  Structural Concerns or Settlement?
Most homes will settle over a period of time, although older homes depending the age, drainage issues, altering of trusses, improper foundations can be attributed to structural concerns.
Although these 5 items are most commonly found, every home is different and concerns or defects may range from major to minor. Other areas checked during  an ATS Home Inspection include Exterior/Insulation/Interior/Appliances (Fireplaces/Pool/Spas if equipped)
Getting Ready to Buy ~ Sell or Invest in Real Estate?
ATS Home Inspections is here to help you validate your Real Estate decision and of course we invite you to call or visit our website and learn about our special inspection packages and services.
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